Yesterday after writing a long rant about how much better I am than people who shop on Black Friday, I went shopping.  Hooray for being full of inconsistencies and flaws!  And shit!

And day-old stuffing.  Mmm, it’s even better the next day.

I went to a local thrift shop where I spent a good hour wandering the aisles and bought approximately twenty pounds of Christmas Decorations.  Oh man.  It was awesome.

I know, I know.  You’re thinking, “Ew, gross!  Used Christmas Decorations!”  Unless you happen to know me personally, in which case you’re thinking, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”  Don’t worry, I scrubbed them free of any residual cheer when I got home.

Anyhoo, I did this shopping because my family is coming down for Christmas, so I am officially hosting my first Christmas Family Gathering.  It is a new milestone for me, and I wanted to make sure to commemorate it with several fake pine garlands, a couple of candles shaped like pine-cones, and a whole mess of other decorations and ornaments.

In the car on the way home I grooved along to Christmas carols on the radio.  It was seventy degrees in Garner, North Carolina yesterday, but in my heart I was baking cookies and stomping snow off my boots.  My boots I wear in my heart.

Whither came this sudden burst of schmaltzy sentimentality?  I wondered.  But deep down I knew it had been there all along, just waiting for the right moment to burst forth and make me purchase a candelabra decorated with fake holly leaves.

When I was growing up, We had an entire closet filled with Christmas decorations (and that is no small thing for an apartment, where closet space is heartbreakingly limited).  Decorating for Christmas was a day-long project that I began looking forward to as soon as we remembered to discard our rotting jack-o-lanterns.

When decorating commenced, we also began listening to Christmas music, which I loved.  I’m talking Sinatra, Roger Williams, Vince Guaraldi, John Denver & the Muppets (come on.  You know the album), Nat King Cole…A Chipmunk Christmas.  I loved it all.  It made me feel all warm and cheer-y inside.  I loved the way the livingroom looked when it was fully decorated– complete with Annalee Dolls and a wooden nativity set that appeared to include a superfluous fourth King, which puzzled us anew each year…who was that extra guy?  He looked too nice to be a shepherd.  Maybe he was someone’s random brother-in-law who turned up for a free meal and some myrrh?  Anyway, our apartment felt like a different place.

I guess that’s the part I like about the holidays; whatever holiday you celebrate– the fact that for a short period of time, everything feels a little different, a little more festive.  You need that sometimes– an excuse to simmer cinnimon and cloves on the stove to make the house feel warm and delicious, and to light  candles and maybe buy a damn poinsettia.  An excuse to listen to tinkly piano music all day long, just because you can.  Particularly in the winter, when everything outside is dreary, and all the trees look dead, it’s nice to have an excuse to party, and bake, and eat, and drink.

Christmas, you enabler.